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“SEE NO EVIL 2” (Screamfest Movie Review)

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In true horror sequel tradition, SEE NO EVIL 2 picks up just moments after the first’s finale. The crazed killer with a hellacious hook, Jacob Goodnight (Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs), has been skewered through the eye and thrown through a window. Scraping up the gory remains of him and his victims, the ambulance drivers make a rather gruesome delivery to the local morgue. This puts a real hitch in the birthday plans of coroner Amy (Danielle Harris), who’s forced to work the graveyard shift. But that doesn’t stop the celebration… Amy’s buddies bring cake and booze to the morgue and party like there’s no tomorrow. Which, of course, there isn’t when a certain surprise stiff shows up. 

From the excellent opening titles sequence (culminating in a cameo from the directors Jen & Sylvia Soska) to the exciting and somewhat unexpected ending, SEE NO EVIL 2 hooks its audience. Screenwriters Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby did a great job of respecting the continuity of the gory story, while adding fresh twists and turns as well as imbuing their heroes with depth and individualistic characteristics in spite of the obligatory clichés (slutty girl, lovelorn guy, overprotective brother, wheelchair dude).

The casting certainly helps in bringing the characters to life. First of all, bringing Kane back is a smart move, while having Danielle Harris as his main adversary is a real coup, because in spite of her pint-sized stature she’s a believable badass. Katharine Isabelle, whom many first saw in GINGER SNAPS and most recently enjoyed in AMERICAN MARY and Season 2 of HANNIBAL, is the clear favorite. Isabelle plays a naughty necrophiliac who just can’t resist a dead man’s party, and while her performance is pretty tongue-in-cheek, it doesn’t soften the scares at all.

The eerily long hallways of the hospital and morgue are perfectly shot by DP Mahlon Todd Williams, who seems to have watched and studied everything from SUSPIRIA to VISITING HOURS to HALLOWEEN II. The sound design, score, and myriad of contemporary hard-rock originals help amp up the proceedings.

Having said all that, the actual death scenes may be disappointing to the more rabid horror hounds. All things considered, they aren’t especially brutal or sadistic, and the meat of the mayhem takes place mostly off screen. What with all the medical and autopsy tools at his disposal, it could have been interesting to see what Goodnight would have done with a bone-saw or a well-placed scalpel. (He does, however, still have his chains and hook at the ready… thank goodness for the inept crime scene police officers who left all that tackle with him when he was carted off to the morgue!)

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Staci Layne Wilson
Redhead. Raconteur. Mannequin enthusiast.
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